Seriously, watch Troll Hunter

Troll Hunter posterI know with a title like Troll Hunter, this movie seems too strange to be worth the time. At least, for most people. But give it a chance.

Troll Hunter is a Norwegian film (with English subtitles) in the found footage genre. It’s about a college film crew that stumbles upon a hunter who is actually tracking — you guessed it — trolls. You’re best off knowing nothing else about this one. Don’t watch any trailers, any videos, or read any reviews. Just see it.

Honestly, I think the movie probably could have worked even if it wasn’t found footage. But it doesn’t really get in the way of the movie at any point.

So there. It’s on Netflix at the moment. Go watch Troll Hunter.

Documentary films I highly recommend

I really enjoy movies. I’ve always enjoyed watching them, talking about them, reading about them, and learning about what goes into the production process.

When I was in high school I used to make short videos for school and elsewhere, and always really enjoyed it. Heck, one day I would like to film a documentary — or even short film — of my own.

For now, though, I want to mention a handful of documentary films that I can recommend. Each of these films is quite a bit different than the other, but I think they all share the distinct quality that makes them good documentaries: they make you more interested in the subject matter than you were before you watched it.

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Sufficiently inspired by Indie Game: The Movie

Indie Game: The Movie is about independent game development, but not nearly as directly as I thought it would be. IGTM is really about the stories of three indie game developers, the creation process, and the feelings that go along with the successes and failures along the way.

The stories are framed with a bit of an introduction to the state of indie gaming, but it breaks away from that sort of history-by-interview snippet style that so many documentaries opt for. IGTM pretty quickly jumps into the stories of the developers behind Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Braid.

The designers and developers behind these games — one, two, and three person teams — talk about the reasons they do what they do, the frustrations they feel, the pressure, the fears, and the way their successes bring them meaning. I know some of those feelings, and hearing their stories is inspirational. It’s like a pep talk from a kindred spirit.

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The Bechdel Test for movies

The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Mo Movie Measure or Bechdel Rule is a simple test which names the following three criteria:

  1. it has to have at least two women in it, who
  2. who talk to each other, about
  3. something besides a man.

Turns out it’s not very common for movies to pass this test. I’ll be on the lookout for this in movies from now on. (via BechdelTest.com)

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Note: This review will contain spoilers.

I remember when Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man came out in 2002, and how exciting that was. I enjoyed the first movie, thought the second was pretty good, and was thoroughly disappointed by Spider-Man 3. Whether the rumors over plans for a Raimi-driven Spider-Man 4 featuring the Lizard and a married Peter Parker and Mary Jane are true or not, it’s probably for the best that series wrapped up at three movies.

I walked into The Amazing Spider-Man excited and optimistic, despite this reboot coming together only five years after the last Spider-Man movie. In the end I enjoyed myself, though it left me thinking about a few of the standard tropes we expect from superhero movies.

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Movies I’m willing to buy to own

I stopped buying movies a while ago, partially because to buy every movie I want to see isn’t sustainable, but also because of the big bought between HD DVDs and Blu-ray technology. I used to buy all sorts of movies on DVD, mainly because I really wanted to own them. But since picking up the Netflix bug a couple of months ago, the desire to own a lot of movies has left me. Instead, I only really want to buy movies that I already really enjoy, and want to have for the purposes of a commentary or many repeated viewings.

In light of this realization, and the likelihood of my purchasing a Blu-ray player sometime this year, I’ve been compiling a list of my all time favorite movies. Thought I would share them here. Any of your favorites listed? Or any you think I should add?

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